Offenses and Insults

An offense is a breach of a law or rule; an illegal act; a thing that constitutes a violation of what is judged to be right or natural; annoyance or resentment brought about by a perceived insult to or disregard for oneself; the action of attacking someone or something.Webster’s American Dictionary

An insult is to speak to or treat with disrespect or scornful abuse; a disrespectful or scornfully abusive remark or act; a thing so worthless or contemptible as to be offensive. To insult someone is "to treat another with gross insensitivity, insolence, or contemptuous rudeness, to demean, or to behave arrogantly.Webster’s American Dictionary

“Neither take offense nor give it.”

An offense causes anger, resentment, displeasure, or affront. Receiving offences or insults is an initiation in poise. While being subjected to offenses and insults are initiations, being offensive or insulting to others is a severe soul taint. You may offend in word and in deed.

Edna Lister on Offenses and Insults

Every offensive experience is an opportunity for advancement on the Path of Light. Grasp each offense as an opportunity to become like the Master.—Edna Lister, Your Brother’s Keeper, November 3, 1935.

Beware of offending anyone, even the "least of these children." Beware of taking offense. The Master forgave those who crucified him.—Edna Lister, July 24, 1938

Some people take offense and read an insult into every word you say. Rejoice! They’re giving it all to you to lift.—Edna Lister, October 1, 1941.

A gentleman or gentlewoman is gentle, gives no offense, takes no offense even under reviling, but ever seeks to polish the 144 soul virtues to perfection.—Edna Lister, September 16, 1943.

Any offense taken at anything means self. Self takes offense and means you didn’t send enough love forth in that hour. You cannot be hurt or offended without resenting and blaming, which is unrighteously judging another.—Edna Lister, December 15, 1944.

You must lift all that touches you or is spoken to you, especially if you remain conscious that a wrong has been done.—Edna Lister, March 12, 1945.

You will not be found in deliberate offense or as an offender unless you think Power is yours; Power belongs to God only.—Edna Lister, July 17, 1945.

If you have no offensive intention in mind, others will take no offense. Any offense is wiped out by law, if you have worked. Seek self’s limitations and work on them. You must develop a balance of love and wisdom. When you give enough love, you create a buffer zone around you.—Edna Lister, July 22, 1945.

If you commit an offense, use the opportunity to lay all like past offenses and anything of similar nature on the altar.—Edna Lister, July 25, 1945.

Do not be insulted by reprimand.—Edna Lister, August 11, 1945.

If you have fully surrendered the self, you take no offense.—Edna Lister, September 27, 1945.

There are many levels of Light, and on each third step is a pool of Light, which has many stagnant ones. If anyone can offend you in any way, you stand in a pool of Light, stationary.—Edna Lister, September 28, 1945.

No word or action can offend if you do not consider yourself offended. You are no use to yourself or God when you dam your soul with negativity.—Edna Lister, October 15, 1946.

When someone takes offense at what you say, find a smoother, more diplomatic expression of the same offensive truth. You can always find a way not to give offense, curves instead of sharp angles.—Edna Lister, April 18, 1947.

Some people collect hurts and offenses, and take offense when the other fellow means none.—Edna Lister, An Encompassing Faith, May 4, 1947.

Don’t let another’s laxness offend you or cause you to let go of your high place.—Edna Lister, February 16, 1950.

Taking offense to self puts up an umbrella to Light.—Edna Lister, November 19, 1950.

When another offends, do not be angry. Breathe life back into him; this is healing.—Edna Lister, June 7, 1951.

“Think a good thought to the person
when the spoken word might be offensive.”

If you rebuke one who offends you, you become extremely offensive. You must rebuke yourself until you see no offense and accept none intended. Release love with the rebuke, if necessary.—Edna Lister, Forgiveness, the Path of Glory, October 21, 1951.

Release enough love and Power to wash away your offense.—Edna Lister, November 12, 1951.

There is dignity in not letting those who offend you see that they have, even by the look in your eyes.—Edna Lister, The Magic in the Sky, October 5, 1952.

Many do not advance beyond the barriers they create by their own offensive attitudes.—Edna Lister, The Magic in the Sky, October 5, 1952.

You may not take offense from any, and above all may not give offense to any.—Edna Lister, October 31, 1952.

You must cleanse the subconscious until you are so "pure in heart" that you do not offend.—Edna Lister, October 3, 1953.

When the love you send forth offends another, you have not sent out enough love.—Edna Lister, May 24, 1954.

Forgiveness isn’t the offender’s obligation, but the offended one’s, and his responsibility is to do all the forgiving. Forgiveness is the ability to come up over life’s darkness, to face it and overlook it, to give something for the offense.—Edna Lister, Jesus, the Teacher, October 3, 1954.

When you have "offended" someone without knowing why, your mental malpractice thoughts have struck them.—Edna Lister, Jesus, the Son of God, November 21, 1954.

Taking offense is only loving "me" so much.—Edna Lister, July 23, 1955.

If you take things personally or see the detriments first, you cannot avoid the grief and physical and desire body reactions that cause torn cells, like crushing the wings of a butterfly.—Edna Lister, February 6, 1956.

The "good natured" people, who bury hurts and insults, spew them out at the wrong time.—Edna Lister, March 21, 1956.

If you cannot bring yourself to forgive an offender against your sensibilities, at least lift him high on a cloud of Light so you will not stumble over him.—Edna Lister, Ambassadors of Love, July 8, 1956.

It were better that a millstone were hung about my neck (see Matthew 18:6) than that I give offense. If I break the least of these laws with a shrug or contemptuous look, I break them all. This law will polish you to the ultimate.—Edna Lister, July 20, 1956.

Be slow in taking offense, or you charge and assume debts of blame. If one is offensive, he is standing in the dark. Draw him into Light.—Edna Lister, November 11, 1957.

“Some people collect hurts and offenses, and take offense
when the other fellow means none.”

To move up in consciousness on the joy vibration ascends you above earth’s cross-vibrations and you become immovable and untouchable. What people say about you no longer disturbs you, nor do you act self-satisfied before the world; thus, you give no offense.—Edna Lister, I AM Joy, 1958.

"Whoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea."—Luke 17:1-2. The millstone hangs about the offender’s neck and the offended one who blames.—Edna Lister, March 6, 1958.

Love forgives seventy times seven times in a day, and forgets the offense by covering it in love.—Edna Lister, As the World Sees Me, June 22, 1958.

"Agree with thine adversary quickly."—Matthew 5:25. If anything on the outside offends you, lift it into Light, and agree with God that "This is good."—Edna Lister, A Charted Heaven, October 21, 1958.

You have plenty of time to modify a law until another will not reject it because it is offensive.—Edna Lister, May 28, 1959.

When you move up in consciousness, you lose the chip on your shoulder and do not take offense.—Edna Lister, The Eight Great Powers of Being, June 23, 1959.

Be prepared to be offensive under law when needed, and be grateful. It’s a privilege to be used as a wedge of Light.—Edna Lister, October 22, 1959.

If you say, "I am offended," you recall all past offenses and hurts to life because "I AM" makes them grow and expand.—Edna Lister, I Am That Bread of Life, October 25, 1959.

When "it" offends you, cut "it" off.—Edna Lister, March 3, 1960.

When people offend you, it is because they are not doing what you want them to do.—Edna Lister, Realization Through Praise, June 26, 1960.

If another should give offense, lift the one offended and love him until love wipes out the offense, for love not only fulfills the law, but voids the offense.—Edna Lister, October 20, 1961.

Light is offensive to those who refuse to live in the Light.—Edna Lister, Power to Transform, December 4, 1962.

It is better that another offends you than for you to offend the world.—Edna Lister, January 10, 1963.

A reminder is not insulting. Take nothing as insults or offenses.—Edna Lister, April 7, 1963.

The great value of lifting the soul today often comes from the work of thought rather than the spoken word, which might be argumentative. Think the good thought to the person when the spoken word might be offensive.—Edna Lister, Heaven Is a State of Consciousness, November 19, 1963.

“Taking offense is only loving ’little me’ so much.”

Eventually you realize that you must not offend others, lest you find yourself with a millstone hung about your neck, hindering you, weighing you down, anchoring you to earth. This is your goal: To absorb others’ offenses with your love, and to reach that height of soul where offending another is impossible.—Edna Lister, Five Keys of the Kingdom, 1964.

If you can remember the offense, you have not forgiven it. When you pour enough compassionate love upon an adversary, you forget the offense. As long as you can recall the offense, you are forgiving only an inch at a time.—Edna Lister, Five Keys of the Kingdom, 1964.

"It is impossible but that offenses will come, but woe unto him, through whom they come."—Luke 17:1. Offenses come to us to lift their source and siphon the same evil from all over earth.—Edna Lister, February 9, 1964.

A time comes when you may offend, but must witness the truth; cover the offense with love enough.—Edna Lister, The Sword, Your Flaming Scepter of Power, April 19, 1964.

No one can insult God. Just look at an offensive person and let the Light of God’s eyes shine through.—Edna Lister, June 7, 1965.

Never speak an offensive declaration. Say, "It could be this," or “Let’s think about this,” inoffensively.—Edna Lister, December 10, 1965.

Peter asked how often he had to forgive; Jesus replied, ’seventy times seven." The beauty is that if you have forgiven seventy times seven, you see only Light and not the offense.—Edna Lister, Decree and Establish, June 26, 1966.

Words can flatter, even as tone gives offense. You offend more with tone than words because tone comes from subconscious and sends out the vibration of your real feeling.—Edna Lister, Is Your Compassion Increasing? November 13, 1966.

A superiority complex offends just by walking into a room.—Edna Lister, May 18, 1967.

If you become Light, you are an offense to evil; thus you are a rebuke to family and friends, so don’t blame them. The Light you carry in your aura may offend when you walk into a room.—Edna Lister, Comprehension and Nonresistance, June 25, 1967.

When someone speaks offensively, be still, and lift it. Offense is the dragon’s tail, so don’t choke on it.—Edna Lister, January 26, 1969.

Be in control of your voice. It can carry offensive power.—Edna Lister, July 10, 1969.

Do not take offense at anything if you want the Power of the Holy Breath to use you.—Edna Lister, April 15, 1971.

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Treatments for Offenses and Insults

Avoid the touchy person! Mentally raise your hands, go up in consciousness, put him on a cloud and say, "Father, please send Your Light to cleanse him now." Light will cause the other to spew forth the dragon. If he spits venom, declare, "Father, let all this force be dissolved in Your shaft of fire now!"—Edna Lister, August 22, 1957.

When an offender is going too far, and is in danger of losing all control, say, "This is enough for now," quietly, firmly and without blame. Not to do it for the self is a delicate matter. The efficacy and virtue of holding the lines of Light fade in proportion to the self in it. "How can you do this to me" is a measuring rod of the quantity and quality of remaining self. So be watchful always, lest you pander to self and must reconquer what you’ve already overcome.—Edna Lister, November 18, 1966.

Give no thought to the adversary except, "This is good. You are good. Let there be Light. I love you." Your cheerful attitude may be an offense. Light always offends darkness.—Edna Lister, Are You Strong to Endure? December 18, 1966.

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Stories That Illustrate Offenses

Jesus on Offenses: Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.—Luke 17:1-4.

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New Testament on Offenses and Insults

Whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, Raca! shall be in danger of the council [Raca is a term of contempt for a person without education or morals]. But whoever says, You fool! shall be in danger of hell fire [because it is judgmental cursing].—Matthew 5:22.

Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.—Luke 23:34.

Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.—Luke 17:1‑2.

Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.—Romans 16:17‑18.

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.—1 Corinthians 13:4‑7.

In many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.—James 3:2.

Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice.—Ephesians 4:31.

Now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.—Colossians 3:8.

Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world.—Philippians 2:14‑15.

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Old Testament on Offenses and Insults

A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.—Proverbs 18:19.

Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.—Psalm 119:165.

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Edna Miriam Lister
The original Pioneering Mystic,
Christian Platonist philosopher, American Idealist, Founder, Society of the Universal Living Christ, minister, teacher, author, wife, and mother.

Edna Lister

Etymology of offense: Late Middle English: from Old French offens ’misdeed’, from Latin offensus ’annoyance’, reinforced by French offense, from Latin offensa ’a striking against, a hurt, or displeasure’; based on Latin offendere ’strike against’.

Etymology of insult: from Latin insultare ’jump or trample on’, from in- ’on’ + saltare, from salire ’to leap’. The noun (in the early 17th century denoting an attack) is from French insulte or ecclesiastical Latin insultus.

Receiving offences or insults is an initiation in poise.

Being offensive or insulting to others is a severe soul soul taint. A taint always becomes the breeding ground for sin.


Harper, Douglas. Online Etymology Dictionary, 2024.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

Webster, Noah. Webster’s American Dictionary of the English Language. New York: S. Converse, 1828.